Why Should I Have a Blog?

If you are just starting out with a new blog or considering it, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself before you begin. Why am I blogging? What should I blog about? Who is my audience? If you have the answers to these questions, you are ready to begin…

There are two main reasons that people start blogs: 1) I want a platform to share my opinions and commentary; and 2) I want to market and bring in more business. When blogs first appeared online, they were primarily a way for people to share their thoughts and even daily activities online (web-log). The format later developed into a marketing tool much to the dismay of the “real” bloggers. They are not mutually exclusive. If you think of it as a continuum, most attorney blogs fall somewhere inbetween the two extremes.

Blog for Yourself

If you love writing and want to create a platform for yourself to express your opinions to the world, a blog is the perfect medium. I recommend giving it a try on your own if you are motivated and have the time. If you have the time to invest, you can research online and learn how to set up and host a wordpress blog. You don’t have to hire a company to do it for you and you don’t have to hire a ghost-writer to write the content. You can do this without spending a dime apart from your time investment. There are many different ways to go about doing this, but I recommend starting with wordpress.com where you can set up a free hosting account. If it goes well, you find you that you love blogging, and you are able to stick with it consistently, you can move your domain from wordpress to a private server.

I understand that not everyone has the time or motivation to learn about blogging and to write regular updates themselves. Obviously, if you choose to hire someone to ghostwrite your blog and maintain it for your firm, I approve and that is what I do. Nevertheless, if you are someone who loves to write and can spare the time, I recommend that you do it on your own and ignore the blather of the multitude of “marketing experts” who only want to sell you a product.

Blogging as a Marketing Tool

Most law firms use blogs as a marketing tool. The topics on these blogs tend to be more focused on specific practice areas to maximize the relevant keywords and search engine results. The goal shifts from 1) expressing my personal views to 2) driving traffic to the firm’s website. A well-written “real” blog can also drive traffic to your website through links from other blogs and social media; on the other hand, a well-written but purely marketing-oriented blog directly sends traffic to your site through regularly updated, relevant content that will appear in online searches. It is a fact that regularly updated, relevant content will increase your website’s exposure in online searches and the sites with the most well-written content are at the top of the search engines. More is better provided it is well written and professional.

The “call to action” is a sure sign of a marketing-oriented blog and is recommended by most marketing experts. It’s a trade-off between credibility as a blogger and effectiveness as a marketing tool. It may be effective when your target audience is solely prospective clients who find your website through online searches, but it is also a turn-off for other attorneys or anyone who is looking for interesting legitimate content to read.

If you have a lawblog or are considering starting one, contact Quality Legal Writing now to find out how we can help you increase your firm’s online exposure with quality, regularly updated original content.  (See… you didn’t really want to read that, did you?)

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